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56533Re: [Z_Scale] Re: Wheel/coupler combinations

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  • Alan Cox
    May 3 7:32 AM
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      > of the thin, slightly oily residue present on the surface of Delrin,
      > small amounts of lubricant released from locomotives, and humidity in
      > the air.

      The residue from the plastics is the problem (I should have been more
      precise). For the Z layout its ok as I don't have too much track to
      clean. In N where I have rather more trackwork the plastic wheels are
      simply banned from the layout - and that makes it noticably easier to
      keep clean.

      > Some modelers claim the gunk contains carbon as a result of
      > electrical arcing. This is physically impossible as there is no
      > source of carbon: rails are nickel, and wheels are nickel, brass or

      Relco and Gaugemaster cleaners will certainly put burned pits on the
      track and wheels. I've no idea what the chemical make up is.

      > appears this is true. "Nickel-silver" (which contains no silver,
      > actually) is a mixture of various metals, and the proportions of the
      > different metals can affect electrical conductivity, oxidation rates,
      > and the tendency of the rails to accumulate dirt. Different brands of
      > track will have different metal composition--sometimes you can even
      > see variations in the color. Thus, different brands of track may
      > perform differently.

      Nickel silver reacts badly with some atmospheres. One layout I'm vaguely
      involved with is in the loco shed at a heritage railway. The track needs
      regular cleaning as something (probably the sulphur in the coal of the
      large locos it shares the shed with) reacts with it quite well.

      > best way to clean wheels is by just moistening a paper towel with
      > alcohol, laying it on some flex track, and rolling cars back and
      > forth over it. To clean track, we just wipe the rails with a block of
      > soft wood. Solvent cleaners just tend to make a mess, abrasive blocks
      > are overkill and also leave abrasive debris behind, and most
      > commercial track cleaners built into freight cars are ineffective.

      The Marklin cleaning wagon (*not* the silly railgrinding railbus) is
      excellent for stopping dirt build up. Its one Marklin purchase I am very
      very happy with. Once you get real dirt build up it won't help but it
      delays that a long time and its easy to slip into a regular train when

      One other useful tool missing from Z is the automatic wheel cleaning
      tracks such as the Tomix N scale one.

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